API to Search public user profile directory

Mar 12, 2008 at 9:25 PM
Hey, This is the first FaceBook Weblication i've built, so bear w/ me. Is there, or are there plans to create, an api to return list of facebook users based on a user search? I'm creating an app that will have a searchbox that will allow users to search over facebook users (even if they are not logged into their own facebook account). I know that we can get the results from http://www.facebook.com/s.php?src=os&q={searchTerms} in HTML form, but i need the XML response. Any ideas?
Mar 12, 2008 at 10:47 PM
Edited Mar 12, 2008 at 10:47 PM

AmyP wrote:
Hey, This is the first FaceBook Weblication i've built, so bear w/ me. Is there, or are there plans to create, an api to return list of facebook users based on a user search? I'm creating an app that will have a searchbox that will allow users to search over facebook users (even if they are not logged into their own facebook account). I know that we can get the results from http://www.facebook.com/s.php?src=os&q={searchTerms} in HTML form, but i need the XML response. Any ideas?


First off, "Weblication?" Please don't.

Second, two words: FQL. http://developers.facebook.com/tools.php?api

Bill
Mar 13, 2008 at 9:59 PM
Thanks for the response. The FQL only accesses data based on who is logged in. So, when i execute those queries, it only returns responses for my data (e.g. my friends, my groups, my info, etc). I need to be able to search over all users of facebook. For example, SELECT Name, Picture FROM AllFaceBookUsers where Name LIKE '%Bill X%'. I'm learning that this probably isn't possible with the given framework. Hope that makes sense.
Mar 14, 2008 at 12:32 AM

AmyP wrote:
Thanks for the response. The FQL only accesses data based on who is logged in. So, when i execute those queries, it only returns responses for my data (e.g. my friends, my groups, my info, etc). I need to be able to search over all users of facebook. For example, SELECT Name, Picture FROM AllFaceBookUsers where Name LIKE '%Bill X%'. I'm learning that this probably isn't possible with the given framework. Hope that makes sense.


Sorry for the unhelpful response. My cursory glance at FQL (hadn't used it before) made it seem like it would do exactly what you wanted. I dug a bit deeper and it definitely doesn't. I don't think this is a Facebook.NET issue, but a Facebook one.

When you think about it, such accessibility would totally subvert their privacy controls as well as put an enormous strain on their resources. Though, as an app developer, I'd really like to run global queries like that.

Bill
Mar 17, 2008 at 10:49 PM
I just got bit by this today. Grr. I now feel your frustration firsthand: come on, Facebook, I can see someone's profile picture and name in a search fer cryin' out loud. What's more galling is that it won't show up even though both parties are in the same network.

Hello, my app users, enjoy your diminished user experience! Sacre merde.

Bill